Lawmakers told that NM drought likely to persist

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State water officials say the prospects are bleak that seasonal rains will provide much relief from the drought gripping New Mexico.

Legislators were told Monday by the State Engineers Office that the precipitation outlook for June to August is likely below normal for the eastern two-thirds of New Mexico and the odds favor above normal temperatures for most of New Mexico.

That's based on the latest long-term forecast from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, which says drought is expected to continue or intensify in New Mexico through the end of August.

The State Engineers Office said precipitation was 47 percent of normal statewide from January to April.

The water management agency made the report to the interim legislative Water and Natural Resources Committee.